By Raja Shehadeh
The search for his great-uncle Najib Nassar, an Ottoman journalist – the main points of his existence, and the course of his nice break out from occupied Palestine – fed on award-winning author Raja Shehadeh for 2 years. As he strains Najib’s footsteps, he discovers that this day it'd be most unlikely to escape the cage that Palestine has turn into. A Rift in Time is a kinfolk memoir written in luminescent prose, however it is usually a mirrored image on how Palestine – particularly the disputed Jordan Rift Valley – has been remodeled. such a lot of Palestine’s historical past and that of its humans is buried deep within the floor: entire villages have disappeared and names were erased from the map. but through seeing the larger photograph of the panorama and the never-ending fight for freedom as Shehadeh does, it's nonetheless attainable to appear in the direction of a greater destiny, loose from Israeli or Ottoman oppression.
“A paintings of passionate polemic, touring, historical past, and autobiography, this hugely unique attention of the Palestinian-Israeli factor is based round a chain of full of life, attentive hikes during the occupied territories.”—The New Yorker
“Raja Shehadeh’s Palestinian Walks offers a unprecedented ancient perception into the tragic adjustments happening in Palestine.” —President Jimmy Carter
“Towards any right figuring out of background there are numerous small paths. This continuously mind-blowing booklet modestly describes strolling alongside yes paths that have touched the lived lives of 2 millennia. Its jogging consultant is an aged guy who confesses; his confessions usually come across a perennial knowledge, and what he's speaking approximately and jogging throughout is among the nodal issues of the world’s current difficulty. I strongly recommend you stroll with him.”—John Berger , writer of the way of Seeing
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Additional resources for A Rift in Time: Travels with My Ottoman Uncle
Just as he had been among the first to recognise the danger Zionism posed to the Arabs of Palestine, so he was one of the first to appreciate the virtues of the Ottoman system. Najib was a trusting character and perhaps naively placed unwavering confidence in the Ottoman regime. After leaving his wife and children in Haifa and coming to hide in Nazareth, the first thing he did was to call on two Ottoman officials. The first was Sabih Nasha’at, the Iraqi general who led the Ottoman squadron stationed in Nazareth.
He could not have conceived of the fragmentation of the region into the mosaic of countries that it would become. How different this seems from the way the conflict is perceived today, as a struggle mainly between Israeli Jews and Muslim Arabs. Najib had always thought of himself as a loyal Ottoman citizen. He had expressed this position in his articles in Al Karmil. He knew reform was needed and advocated strong Arab independence, but within the Ottoman structure. His main concern was what would happen to his country if 20 Escaping Arrest the Ottomans were no longer there to protect it from the onslaught of the colonialists and in particular the Zionists, whose plans for Palestine he was more familiar with than most.
This was but one example of successful cooperation between corrupt politicians on both sides of the divide who forget their political differences as they indulge in Mafia-like operations that bring them huge financial gains. When I tried to intervene on behalf of my client I was brought before the Palestinian prosecutor and forced to forfeit all links with the case. I was only spared further humiliation by the intercession of well-connected acquaintances. However corrupt the Palestinian Authority might have been during its early phase, society was still closely knit enough for personal relations to put some limits on the immoral behaviour to which bad money might otherwise lead.